Osprey Summer: a very American Experience
A fascinating insight into cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River.
Published by Malvern Partnership, This book tells the tale of a cruise by the author and her husband, David, up the east coast of the United States from southern Florida to Massachusetts, in their catamaran Voyager. There is a clear disclaimer that the account is of the voyage undertaken at a certain time and that the book is not intended as a guide or aid to navigation. Nevertheless, it provides a fascinating insight into cruising the Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River, before sailing north.
The Intracoastal Waterway (or ICW) is a thousand miles of waterway stretching from Fort Lauderdale in the south to Norfolk, Virginia. It is protected from the Atlantic by a chain of offshore islands, many linked by bridges, creating a cruising area that varies from narrow channels to wide open expanses of water, albeit often quite shallow. The book tells of many instances of Voyager, or other yachts running aground in the ICW and having to be towed off or waiting for the tide to turn.
North to Chesapeake and the Potomac, an area of contrasts from small towns and villages to anchoring in the nation’s capital. The book records the many kindnesses this English couple received from people they met along the way, being invited to their homes, taken to supermarkets and even, on one occasion, being lent a car so that they could do their shopping. The cruise then took them to New York, Long Island Sound and Cape Cod, before heading back south again.
Having visited many of the places mentioned in the book I found it to be a most enjoyable read, illustrated with a few large scale hand-drawn maps. For some of the places visited, larger scale maps, or chartlets would have helped, but it is not intended as a cruising guide and more detailed maps can easily be accessed by computer.